News

’Discovering Allison Baden-Clay's body hasn't left me’

Missing person Allison Baden-Clay. Photo: Contributed CONDITIONS OF USE UNKNOWN / FEES MAY APPLY
Missing person Allison Baden-Clay. Photo: Contributed CONDITIONS OF USE UNKNOWN / FEES MAY APPLY Contributed

INITIALLY, Professor Daryl Joyce thought it was someone sleeping.

The academic regularly paddled his kayak along the peaceful Brisbane river in the city's outer suburbs. But on that warm Monday in April 2012, Prof Joyce quickly discovered his first impression was wrong, reports whimn.com.au.

"I realised it [was] Allison based on her clothes. A mannequin dressed like Allison had been shown on TV."

That morning marked the beginning of the 11th day of the search for Allison Baden-Clay after her husband Gerard had reported her missing.

Gerard claimed he had gone to bed, leaving Allison watching TV and had not seen her since. Soon, scores of police and SES workers were scouring numerous suburbs and bush land by motorbike and air for any trace of the mother-of-three.

The question of Allison's whereabouts dominated headlines around the country. But now, on that autumn day, Prof Joyce was first to discover the tragic answer.

The horticulture professor has never spoken before about his experiences that day.

"When time and tide permit, I usually paddle up Kholo Creek for a short distance, including under the bridge," he told whimn on the fifth anniversary of Allison's disappearance.

Allison Baden-Clay’s parents Geoff and Priscilla Dickie outside Brisbane Supreme Court.
Allison Baden-Clay’s parents Geoff and Priscilla Dickie outside Brisbane Supreme Court.

As he navigated a particular bend of the narrow waterway, only 13km from the missing mum's Brookfield home, he spied something out of the ordinary.

Police Examination photographs showing the Kholo Creek Bridge area at Anstead, where the body of Allison Baden-Clay was found.

"I saw a person lying on their side beneath the bridge. Initially, I thought it [was] someone sleeping on the creek bank. Then, I realised it [was] Allison based on her clothes. A mannequin dressed like Allison had been shown on TV."

Her body was partly facedown, her jumper tangled around her neck, and she was still dressed in casual clothes.

"It was initially a shock," Prof Joyce says. "[It was] imperative to let the police know urgently. The search had been given a lot of press coverage. It was clear that the family were terribly distraught and needed to know ASAP."

 

Gerard Baden-Clay
Gerard Baden-Clay

 

 

Prof Joyce acted speedily. "I immediately kayaked to where I launch my kayak, drove home and rang the police."

Within hours, officers would be winched down to the muddy bank where Allison's body lay to begin the painstaking search for clues to her death.

Two months after that heartbreaking morning, Gerard Baden-Clay would be charged, and later convicted, of his wife's murder.
 

A memorial for Allison Baden-Clay at the site where her body was found at Kholo Creek.
A memorial for Allison Baden-Clay at the site where her body was found at Kholo Creek. David Nielsen

Joyce says he still thinks of that April day when he's kayaking past the area.

"I do think of the day and the people involved, particularly so when I am kayaking or driving by in the area. It was, naturally, not something I'd ever think to play a role in. I am glad that I was able to contribute towards piecing together what had happened and [offering] closure for those most sadly affected.

"Allison was clearly much loved and people wanted and needed to know what had happened. Despite the terrible circumstances, I was pleased to have been able to contribute towards resolution of the search and path ways towards closure."

This article originally appeared on whimn and is reproduced with permission

News Corp Australia

Topics:  allison baden-clay editors picks


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Charges laid over alleged clown mask robbery

scary clown generic

Local boy charged over terrifying clown robbery

Sunday arvo footy just got bigger

The Big Screen TV Sunday Footy event will kick off this Sunday at Springfield's Robelle Domain Parklands.

Robelle Parklands to host live footy on the big screen

93 years old and still pumping iron

GOOD TIMES: 93-year-old Second World War veteran Ken Smith is glowing with health as he takes part in a program run by Active Body Conditioning at Goodlife Health Club. Ken is pictured with exercise physiologist Emily Beck.

Ken's exercise fix great for his body, mind and soul

Local Partners

800 paid jobs up for grabs at 2018 Commonwealth Games

GOLD Coast Commonwealth Games organisers are recruiting 800 people in the 10-month home straight to the event next April.

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

OWNERS of icon Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld want to super-size the site with accommodation and entertainment to turn it into Australia’s Disneyland.

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000 calorie diet

Brian Shaw won his 4th World's Strongest Man title. Source: Twitter

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000-calorie diet

ABC2 slammed over football exhibition match coverage

Fans weren't too happy with ABC2's coverage of Wednesday night's game.

ABC2 slammed for coverage of soccer exhibition match

'Bulls--t!' Lisa Wilkinson grilled over Karl's pay packet

Join us for a Great Night as we Proudly present Lisa Wilkinson

“And you believe everything you read?”

Rebel Wilson trial: The secret we never could have known

Rebel Wilson outside court

“Most people wouldn’t know it exists,” she said.

Janet’s back in the ring

Marta Dusseldorp returns in season three of the TV series Janet King.

Season three of ABC's legal drama delves deeper than ever before.

Game of Thrones drops new trailer for season 7

Game of Thrones fans have been given a new trailer for season 7.

Fans are finally getting a full-throttled peak at season seven.

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!